August 22, 2016
With the dog days of summer almost behind us and night time temperatures dropping into the 40's we welcome the cooler temps. This should be beneficial for our remaining PMD and caddis hatches. In the meantime, the middle Provo River flows have been ramped up to over 600 cfs which is a ton of water for this time of year. While the fishing may be tough it should help to create a killer fall fly fishing season in Park City. These higher flows can make for difficult wading and tricky fishing conditions so the key is to find the right water; slower, glassy, inside runs. Unfortunately, there are not many of them under these conditions and they are getting pounded on. My suggestion would be to size down your tippet to 6x, fish close, and use a light rig with smaller thread midge. Size 24-28. Then progress into the run with a little more weight using sow bugs, micro worms , PMD nymphs, or caddis larva. These flows won't last forever and should drop back to normal in the next few weeks. Again, these flows don't lend themselves to the easiest fly fishing but in the long run should make for great fall season! Have fun and we look forward to seeing on the water.
April 23, 2016
Ski season is almost over here in the Wasatch, that means its time to fish! Springtime is our favorite time to fish our local tail waters in the Park City area, crowds are down, fish are active, and the Provo River is low and clear.
The Lower Provo is your best bet for consistent fishing this time of year. Flows are up a bit in the 180cfs range which has shut down the good dry fly fishing but the nymphing has been fantastic, Fish seem to be most active from about 9-1. The fish really start to spread out at this higher flow after being confined to deeper pools at the usual winter flow of 90-100cfs. Set up a nice shallow water nymph rig and look for fish sitting in the shallows, they will often move for a sow bug, or your favorite thread midge pattern.
The Middle Provo has been fishing well but a little more hatch dependent this time of year. The Blue Winged Olive hatch has slowed down considerably but you will still see bugs around 11:30-2 depending on the day, these mayflies will be of the smaller variety right now, as well as the midge. If you are fishing before or after the hatch, fishing streamers can be productive, olive or ginger are my favorite colors for the provo, using a slower retrieve or swing will be best.
January 19, 2016
Fly fishing on both the Middle and Lower Provo River has been fair. The mornings are relatively slow but we are still finding a few eager trout with sowbugs (18-20) both tan and gray. The most successful rig for me has been super light, one to two #6 weight on 6x tippet, using a sowbug for my point fly and either a bling midge (22-26) or blood midge (22-24).
I recommend targeting the tailout of the runs and any slow moving flats. We are starting to see an ok midge hatch around 12 to 1:00pm, which bring a handful of trout to the surface for some much needed winter dryfly action. If you are lucky to hit it, it is a short lived hatch.
And for the die hard, streamer fishing has been pretty solid! Keep an eye out, I will post a streamer blog soon!
The fishing by no means is on fire but you will likely have the river to yourself and that is one of the perks of winter fly fishing! Good luck and stay warm out there.
July 8, 2015
The summer heat has finally cooled off since the beginning of July and the fishing has been nothing short of spectacular. The green drakes started on the middle Provo River a couple of weeks ago and have made there way up to the Bunny Farm. The crowds have also been following the green drakes, so when we have taken guide trips on the middle section, we have usually been fishing behind or in front of the hatch. The fishing has still been great and we don’t have to deal with the crowds as much. There has been a good PMD hatch from north of River Road all the way up to the dam. It has usually started around 1:00 PM with good dry fly action and nymph fishing. In the morning, we have been nymphing small thread midge in sizes 22-24 with a small sow bug trailing in sizes 18-20. In the afternoon, we have switched out the sow bug and midge for PMD nymphs and some green drake emergers. As for the dry fly fishing, we have been doing really well on PMD Sparkle Duns up by the dam.
This is probably the most productive time of the year on the lower Provo River. As long as you can tolerate the raft hatch, the fishing has been very good for the last month. I usually start the morning with a variety of sow bugs. At about noon, I usually switch one of my flies to a Barr’s emerger or a Split Case PMD. The PMD hatch really gets ramped up at around 3 o’clock and last until around 6:00. There is some great dry fly fishing on PMDS if you are willing to work for it. The fish have been eating on top in most of the flats on the river.
June 4, 2015
The middle Provo River has been staying stable at a flow of about 300 CFS, which is a very wade friendly flow for the river. There has been a good Mother’s Day caddis hatch from south of River Road to Legacy Bridge. This has produced some really good dry fly fishing. From north of River Road up to the dam, nymphing has been the primary way to fish. The most productive flies for nymphing have been a size 20 pale midge and a variety of sow bugs. We have also been getting some nice fish on blood midge. For the caddis dry fly fishing, we have been fishing a tandem rig: size 18 stacked caddis with a size 18 translucent emerger trailed behind it.
The lower Provo River has been staying steady at about 200 CFS for the past couple of weeks but I suspect that it will start to come up in the next week or so. As for the fishing, it’s been the most consistent river as of lately. It has been all about the sow bug. When the water comes up the sow bugs get pushed around making them easier targets for large trout. We have been fishing a size 14 sow bug with a small size 20 sow bug trailed behind it. There has also been a good blue winged olive hatch
The small streams should start fishing really well in the next week or so. With the warmer weather, we should start to see the first of our stonefly hatches, followed by the green drakes. If you’re interested in finding some great Utah gems with amazing dry fly fishing book a guide trip within the next 3 weeks.
April 20, 2015
The fishing this spring has been fantastic. The middle Provo River has increased from 150 CFS to 230 CFS which is really helping to spread the fish out. In the morning, the nymphing has been consistent on 16-18 sow bugs and small, size 22-26, thread midge in colors: red, black, iron grey, tan and olive. The guides are still fishing light weight rigs and 6x tippet is a must. In the afternoon, we are doing really well nymphing grey RS2’s and small Juju baetis. As for dry fly fishing, it has been much better on the overcast days. The sunny days are not as productive.
The lower Provo River has come up a little bit in the past week or two, about 20-30 CFS. It should start to really come up by the end of the month. The fish are starting to get wise to fisherman and moving out of the big holes and into the shallow riffles. Standard patterns have still been excellent choices including a variety of sow bug patterns in multiple sizes and colors. The afternoon has brought some great dry fly fishing on blue winged olives, but you have to be patient as it does not start until late afternoon.
UTAH FISHING REPORT
March 24, 2015
Spring has arrived! The fishing on the middle Provo River has been stellar and I expect the conditions to remain the same for the next month. The Buffalo Midge hatch started a couple weeks ago and is still going strong. It seems like the fish are waiting for the bugs to hatch which has made for tough fishing in the morning. That said the fishing doesn’t pick up until around noon, but I wouldn’t sleep in too long. The river has been getting exceptionally crowded, so it is wise to get an early start and wait for the hatch. The nymphing has been pretty straight forward. We have been fishing a light nymph rig about 4-6 feet. Our flies of choice have been a size 18 big black midge larva and a small size 22 midge larva. There has also been some great dry fly opportunities as the buffalo midge hatch. Keep in mind these fish are very picky, so lengthen your leader and use 6x and 7x tippet.
The lower Provo River has also been fishing really well. There is not a presence of buffalo midge down there, but they still have a good smaller midge hatch and Blue Winged Olives. The Blue Winged Olive hatch will only get stronger in the next week or two. The nymphing has been good all day. I have been fishing a variety of midge nymphs and any blue winged olive nymph seems to be doing the trick. The best dry fly fishing has been in the late afternoon with a good Blue Winged Olive hatch.
February 25, 2015
The fly fishing on the middle Provo River has been fair to good in the past couple of weeks. It will really start to pick up with the emergence of the buffalo midge. Most years, the buffalo midge starts around the first of March but with the mild temperatures this winter it could start any day. We have had more success nymphing than throwing dry flies. We are still seeing small black and brown midge around sizes 22-24. The fishing is more consistent in the afternoon as the water temperatures warm up.
The best pattern has been a thread midge in colors: brown, black, olive and red. We have also done really well on small sow bug patterns in size 16-20. I have found more sow bugs in the fish stomachs than I have seen in the past ten years. Hopefully this is a sign of a biomass change that would be very helpful for the middle Provo River fish.
The most consistent fishing has been on the lower Provo River. The past two weeks, we have had red hot nymph fishing. We have been fishing mostly in-line rigs with a size 18-20 sow bug as a point fly and dropping various midge patterns behind it. In the morning, the fish have been concentrating in the slower and deeper water. In the afternoon, the water temperatures warm up and fish start to slide into the faster shallow riffles. I was on the river guiding the other day and saw a good hatch of Blue Winged Olives in the afternoon. We concentrated on nymphing but there were plenty of fish up for some great dry fly action.
December 1, 2014
The fishing on the middle Provo River was fantastic over the Thanksgiving weekend. I expect it will continue to be really good for the next couple of weeks before winter really hits. In the morning, there has a been a steady midge hatch from the Bunny Farm all the way up to the dam, especially on the sunny days. When we get a little overcast sky, we are still seeing some good blue winged olives in the afternoon. As a reminder, the brown trout are still spawning, so try to be careful where you step. As for nymphing, we have been fishing an inline rig with a bead set up to imitate an egg and dropping a small RS2 or thread midge behind it. As for dry fly fishing we are using a tandem rig. Starting our point fly with a CDC comparadun blue wing, size 20-22 and trailing with an orange asher, size 22-24. Keep in mind that with the low clear water you want to make your rig as long as possible and use tippet no larger than 6x.
The lower Provo River has also produced some great action lately and should continue to fish well throughout the winter months. In the morning, we have primarily been nymphing egg patterns with either a sow bug or a blue winged emerger trailing the egg pattern. In the afternoon, there has been some descent dry fly action especially on the colder overcast days with a good blue winged olive hatch.
October 27, 2014
The middle Provo River has dropped to its lowest flow of the season. This change in water levels has made crossing the river more manageable, opening up a great deal of holes that until now have been difficult to fish. With the river being fishable from both sides, please remember to be mindful of your fellow anglers and continue to give each other adequate space.
The fishing is still pretty solid with very small midge in the morning. Size 24-26, grey, brown, and black midges have been our best producers. We have also been throwing some meat (streamers) with good results. The smaller streamers have seemed to be more effective than the larger articulated streamers. Around noon, we are seeing a very healthy baetis hatch and have been using size 18-20 baetis patterns. Both nymphing and dry fly fishing durning this time has been very consistent. For nymphs we are using RS2’s and thread baetis in black, grey and olive colors. For dry flies, size 20-22 PA’s, comparadons and emergers are always a good call.
The water is as clear as it has been since last winter. With these clear water conditions, you can do a lot of sight fishing in the shallows. We have had most success using very little or no weight at all and either a dry dropper rig or shallow nymph rig. Fish the deep buckets and riffles with a nymph rig.
The lower Provo River has been flowing at a nice wadable flow of 154 CFS. There is still some moss, but it is much more fishable than a couple of weeks ago. We are picking up some nice rainbows on egg patterns and sow bugs. There has been some great dry fly fishing in the afternoon with a good blue winged olive hatch. With the cooler weather on its way, the lower should start fishing better throughout the month of November.
Keep in mind that with the low flows and clear water the fish are incredibly spooky, so when nymphing, size down your indicator and tippet. When dry fly fishing lengthen your leader and size down your tippet. Have fun out there and we look forward to seeing you on the river!
July 14, 2014
The middle Provo River has finally turned the corner for the better in the past couple of days. The water clarity is still not great, but at least we are finally starting to see a good number of our summer bugs such as PMDs, drakes and small stone flies. The drakes have made their way up to Cottonwood Bridge, although the dry fly fishing has been great throughout the middle Provo River. The other day, I showed up late to the river and as you can imagine it was very crowed with locals and tourists chasing the green drake hatch. I was able to stay away from people and have a stellar day dry fly fishing in the pocket water and the riffles between the big pools. The first advantage to fishing this kind of water is the fish don’t have as much time to inspect your fly in the faster water and they must react quickly. The second advantage is this type of water generally gets fished a lot less than the big pools making the fish a little more willing to take a fly.
The lower Provo River has been fishing excellent for the past month. This is primarily where I have been guiding in the month of July. Although the tubers can be a little annoying in the afternoon, it hasn't effected the fishing at all and there has been a lot less angling pressure compared to the middle Provo River. Believe it or not, the lower Provo River use to be the most heavily pressured river in the country, but ever since the restoration project the middle section seems to get much more attention from the fly fishing community. Both are great rivers, but if you are looking for consistently larger trout with a good mix of rainbows and brown trout, don’t over look this river just because of a couple of tubers. In fact, I have found that after a bunch of tubers splash through a run, it usually turns the fish on to all the sow bugs that get dislodged from their shenanigans. If you have the patience to deal with the recreationalists, you should experience excellent fishing.
June 13, 2014
Finally, summer is here and Utah has a ton of fishing options for our clients and fishermen alike. As for the middle Provo River, it is still fishing solid up by the dam. The nymph fishing has been the most consistent, but there has been a solid midge hatch around 9:00 AM, which is bringing a surprising amount of fish up. The best flies in the top section have been various junk food trailed with a black or red thread midge. Down lower by Legacy Bridge and Charleston there has been a solid PMD hatch with fish podding up on dries. There has also been various stone flies coming off. As for flies, its hard to beat a big stimulator and a PMD compara dun trailed behind it. As for the Green Drake, I was guiding down in Charleston a couple days ago and I didn’t see them. I have been getting conflicting reports from guides, but I would say it should be any day now.
The lower Provo River is still fishing well. It seems that in the past couple of days a lot of the big fish that were hanging out and eating on the inside edges have moved back into the deeper runs. I'm not exactly sure why they do that sometimes, but I suspect when they first brought the water up the sow bugs went on a major migration, settling into new spots, making them an easy target for the trout in the shallows. Now that the sow bugs have settled, they are not as readily available in the shallows, hence they move into deeper water. This is all going to change in the next couple of weeks once the PMD hatch really gets in full swing.
Small streams and Rivers X: If you are waiting for a good time to fish all these spots, it's now! I have been guiding on a lot of the small streams lately and the dry fly fishing is as good as it gets.
May 29, 2014
The Jordanelle Reservoir has released 300 CFS from the dam, which has caused a slightly higher flow on the middle Provo River. This is my favorite flow to walk and wade this section of the Provo River. The Mother’s Day caddis hatch is still going strong from Charleston all the way up to River Road south. The nymph fishing has been a little hit or miss. In the morning, we are fishing variety of junk food as our point fly such as tan san juan worms, sow bugs and caddis larvae, and dropping small thread midge as our dropper fly in colors: red, black, tan and cream in size 22-24. In the afternoon, there has still been a little baetis hatch that is bring up some fish on dries.
The lower Provo River came up to 900 CFS for the June sucker spawn and has dropped to 400 CFS in the past couple of days. These flows have really spread the fish out and makes for some of the best sight fishing of the year. In the morning, the fish are keyed into sow bugs. I have been throwing larger sow bugs in size 12-14, but some of our other guides are having success on smaller sizes, 18-20. In the afternoon, the fish are starting to look for PMD nymphs and some golden stone fly nymphs. Your best bet for dry fly fishing is to blind fish a large stimulator and drop a tungsten bead stone fly behind it.
The Weber River has also come up in the last little bit to 178 CFS and has been fishing awesome for the past couple of weeks. The Mother’s Day caddis are on the tail end of the hatch, which means that there is still bug activity up by the dam, but I wouldn’t expect much of a hatch below the Spring Chicken. When the water comes up like it has the fish are crazy for sow bugs, worms patterns and stone fly patterns. Basically, you can use the same rig that you are fishing on the lower Provo River.
April 24, 2014
The middle Provo River is flowing at 223 CFS, in full spring mode, and the fishing is great. Believe it or not, this is a great time of year to fish on the river because it is not as busy with other fishermen. The buffalo midge hatch is all but done, but the fish are still looking for small midge in the morning and baetis in the afternoon. In the morning, we are nymphing a light rig with 5 1/2 to 6x tippet approximately 4-7 feet in length. As for flies, we are using thread midge size 22-26 in black, brown, red, grey and tan. In the afternoon, we have been successful using baetis patterns. Some of our best patterns have been RS2’s size 20-22 in black, grey and olive. On the overcast days, we have had great dry fly fishing with really strong baetis hatches.
The lower Provo River has almost doubled in flow coming up to 182 CFS and is stilling seeing a good baetis hatch and the fishing is stellar. In the morning, the fish are red-hot on various sow bug patterns. Don’t be afraid to fish very large size sow bugs this time of year. I will fish with sow bugs in size 10-12. In the afternoon, we have been fishing a double fly nymph rig with a large sow bug as our point fly and a baetis emerger on the bottom. The crowds will start to thin out around 4 o'clock in the afternoon. This is a great time to get on the river and fish until the evening. Some of the bigger fish start to move into feeding lanes as the sun gets off the water.
The Weber River has finally come up to a fishable flow of about 70 CFS. I had a chance to check it out last week and the fishing was awesome. I was using a light nymph rig with yellow midge and a large, size 12 sow bug, and caught plenty of brown’s in the 16-18 inch range. The fish are still holding in the deeper buckets in the morning and moving into the faster riffles by late afternoon.
March 25, 2014
The middle Provo River is flowing at 150 CFS and the fishing is in full swing. The buffalo midge (for more info on the buffalo midge hatch, check out our recent blog) hatch has been going on for about three weeks and should continue for another two weeks or so. In the morning, we are still fishing a light nymph rig with size 5.5-6.5x tippet. That is 4.5 lb to 3 lb test tippet just to give you a idea of how light we have to go this time of year. I preferTrout Hunter tippet. It comes in half sizes and most of our guides have switched over to their tippet and leaders in the last year. As for flies, we having the best success with black micro tubing midges in sizes 16-20, red thread midges in sizes 20-24, gray and black RS2’s in sizes 20-24 and a variety of zebra midges in sizes 16-20. With the recent time change, the hatch usually comes off around 1:30-2:00 PM and lasts for 1-2 hours. On our dry fly rig, we are using 6.5x tippet to a single or double dry fly rig. This is imperative when fishing a midge hatch on the middle Provo River. Our best dry flies have been the Mother Shucker size 18-22, Buffalo Soldier 18-20 and Morgan’s midge size 18-22.
The lower Provo River is flowing at 100 CFS and free from winter moss creating perfect, crystal clear water. The blue winged olive hatch is going on from Vivian Park all the way up by the dam. First thing in the morning, the dry fly fishing is game on with thousands of midges clustering together. The fishing on top is much better on the calm days. On the windy days, the bugs are getting blown off the water and becoming less of a target. The nymph fishing is also productive all day. In the morning, the trout are looking for sow bugs and a variety of midge patterns. Around 12:00 PM, we have been switching over to blue winged olive patterns and having great success throughout the hatch. One thing to keep in mind is that there have been big crowds up by the dam, but the fishing is just as good down river with plenty of big fish to catch.
February 23, 2014
The middle Provo River is finally over the winter lull and has been fishing excellent for the past week. I still haven’t seen any buffalo midge, but there have been some bigger midge in the 18-20 size range. Lately, we have been having success with an in-line rig. Our nymph rig has been approximately 4-6 feet from our first fly to the indicator. The trailer fly is 12-15 inches below the first fly with 1-3 number six size weight depending on how deep and fast the run is. As for flies, we are using red thread midge size 20-24 , black and gray midge emergers in sizes 20-24, and small gray RS2’s in size 22-24. At around 12:30p.m., the midge hatch really starts to get going and we are switching out our nymph rig with either a double dry fly or a 1-2 foot, light nymph rig with two emergers a foot or two underneath the surface.
The lower Provo River is fishing much better and has become more consistent in the past couple of weeks. In the morning, there has been a strong midge hatch with the bugs clustering together making for an easy target for hungry trout. I would say the dry fly fishing is best from 8-11 in the morning, and 3-5 in the afternoon. We have been using a variety cluster patterns, focusing on the edges and slower moving slicks. At around 11, we have been switching over to nymph rigs, using both bounce rigs and in-line with equal success. Last week on the lower Provo River, my best nymph patterns were gray midge emergers in size 18-20, black midge emergers size 18-20 and large sow bugs size 14-16.
January 28, 2014
The middle Provo River has started to fish more consistently in the past week with a steadier midge hatch. We have had a couple guide trips and are concentrating our efforts from the dam down to the North Fields. The fishing has been a little slower in the morning and really starts to pick up around noon. This is typical of winter fly fishing conditions on the Provo River. In the morning, we have been nymphing slow, deep runs with a light nymph rig about 4-7 feet long. Our go-to flies for nymphing have been Blood Thread Midge in size 22-26, yellow Super Hair Midge in size 22-24, grey Emerger Midge in size 20-24 and olive Micro Tubbing Midge in size 22-24. As for dry fly fishing, it has still been a little inconsistent. During the day, the fish are rising to midge. We are fishing really long dry fly leaders, with a cluster midge pattern as a sight fly and dropping a variety of midges in size 22-26. Some of these patterns include the Mother Shucker, Foam Emergers and Orange Asher. With a winter storm arriving in the next couple of days, the dry fly fishing should be spectacular with the overcast afternoons.
The lower Provo River is a little finicky as of lately. One day it will fish great, the next day it is hard to buy a fish. I think there will be a stronger baetis and midge presence in the coming weeks. There are still some really nice fish to catch. This is a good time of year to get a rainbow over 18 inches and in the 2 1/2 to 3 lb class. Currently, one day you may produce best results using a sow bug pattern, the next day you will have better success using only midge patterns. I know on a lot of these Provo River fly fishing reports we describe fly patterns that we personally tie. If there is enough interest, I will post a blog on the patterns that we are fishing with. Please leave a comment on Facebook if you would like me to include pictures of specific fly patterns.
January 7, 2014
The middle Provo River is still flowing at 145 CFS (cubic feet a second) from the Jordanelle Reservoir. Overall the fishing is fair to good depending on the day. The fishing has definitely been more consistent on overcast days compared to the typical sunny, Utah fly fishing winter days. The fish on the middle Provo River are still looking for various egg patterns but are starting to focus more on the normal winter midge diet. Small midge between size 22-26 start to hatch around 11 o'clock and last until about 2 in the afternoon. The nymph fishing has stayed solid during the hatch. The best set-ups have been small egg patterns or bead-head midge sizes 22-24 as your point fly and sizes 22-26 thread midge (colors: black, red, grey and cream) as the trailing fly. The dry fly fishing on the middle Provo River has also been pretty good when the midge are hatching. Look for fish in slower moving runs. Best flies have been the Orange Asher, Foam Emerger and Brook Sprout midge in sizes 22-26. Lately, one of the best tactics has been streamer fishing, especially in the morning before the sun hits the water. Keep in mind with the colder winter temperatures a slow retrieve has been most successful.
The Lower Provo River is flowing at 102 CFS for the winter. This makes it very easy to get around when you are wading. The fish on the lower Provo River have really started to stay in their winter lies, which is any deep part of a run that is flowing at a medium to slow rate. Nymph fishing has been the best tactic on the lower. As a point fly, we have been using a small sow bug in sizes 16-20, and for droppers, various colored zebra midges in sizes 20-24. The best colors have been yellow, grey and red. I suspect that the dry fly fishing on the lower Provo River is really going to ramp up in the next month or so. I will keep you posted as the fishing really starts to pick up.
December 21, 2013
The flows on the middle Provo River have stayed a steady 150 CFS for the past couple of months and we expect it to stay that way until mid April. Although the skiing in the area around Park City, Utah hasn't been spectacular so far this season, the fly fishing has remained strong. The cold front that came across Utah last week really got the first of the midge hatch started for the winter fly fishing season. This is great time to get out on the middle Provo River and do some dry fly fishing. Around 11 AM small midge start to hatch. The midge are between sizes 22-26, so they are very small. As I have stated in previous Utah fly fishing reports, the best tactic is to use a large cluster fly as your point fly or indicator fly then drop your 22-26 size midge about 16 inches behind it. The key to this tactic is to keep your eye on the larger fly and set your hook on any fish that eats around your fly that way you don’t have to strain your eyes trying to find the smaller dry. Best fly patterns for the point fly are: Stalcup’s Cluster Midge, Hackle Stacker Midge and Double Hackle Stacker Midge. As for our dropper fly, we’ve had best success with the Orange Asher, a Brook Sprout Midge and foam emerger all in sizes 22-26. As for nymph fishing, we have still been concentrating our effort up by the dam. The brown trout are just getting off the spawn but are still looking for egg patterns. You should try nymphing a 4-6 foot rig with a light amount of weight. Use a trout bead as your point fly and drop a thread midge (colors: red, black, iron grey, tan and creamy dreamy) in size 22-26 behind it.
The lower Provo River winter flows are around 100 CFS which makes it easier to get around on the river. The lower Provo River is still fishing well and I suspect it will get even better as we move more into the winter months. The fish are starting to move out of the faster water and settle into the deeper buckets and slower runs. Nymphing has been the most productive method as the hatch has been a little sparse for good dry fly fishing. The most productive type of set up has been a light nymph rig with a trout bead as your point fly, and a sow bug or a small 20-22 size zebra midge trailed behind it.
November 25, 2013
Winter is here but despite the change in weather, Park City fly fishing does not disappoint. We had guide trips out the last couple of days and the fishing on the lower and middle Provo River was borderline on fire. The middle Provo brown trout are in full spawn mode making egg patterns the go to method for fishing. As for the rigs, we are using a light weight, in-line rig (this is with the weights above the first fly or bead). From our indicator to our weights is about five feet. Then we tie a blood knot (the knot stops the weight from slipping to the fly or bead) with a piece of 3x tippet. Finally, we tie on our bead rig about 18 inches below our first knot. Our best bead colors have been: Glow Row, Apricot, Dark Row, Cheese, Caramel Roe and Tangerine. With the winter flows on the middle Provo River being so low we are still fishing as light of rigs as possible, especially with all the summertime moss that is floating down the river. In the afternoon there is still some really good dry fly action. Tiny size 22-24 blue winged olives are hatching and the fish are very eager to come up. I think I have said this before in previous middle Provo River fishing reports, but a long leader and light tippet is the key to success for these picky fish.
The lower Provo River is still fishing really well with brown trout spawning and large rainbow trout looking for eggs in the fast riffles. It is not often that we are using identical rigs for the lower and middle Provo River, but this time of year they are fishing very similar. One thing I have found guiding the lower Provo the past couple of weeks is that a run and gun approach has been the most effective. Once you take a couple of fish out of a run it seems to shut down for a little bit, so working as much water as possible has been our best strategy. The streamer fishing has also been really good on both the middle and lower Provo River. This time of year my favorite colors are: yellow, orange, olive and tan.
Seeing as the spawn is still going on, remember to make yourself aware of the spawning grounds and please avoid them!
November 4, 2013
The late fall is one of our favorite times to fish on the Provo River system. The middle Provo River is fishing excellent right now so don’t put away your fly rods just yet. We still have 3-4 weeks of really productive fishing. The nymph fishing has stayed solid. We are fishing micro midge patterns on a 6x nymph rig with very little weight, using size number 4-6 split shot. Our best patterns have been a thread midge in colors: red, grey, tan and cream, sizes 22-26 on a curved or strait hook. Around eleven in the morning, we are switching over to BWO nymphs. We typically use a grey or black RS2, size 20-22 as our point fly and drop either a WD40 size 22-24, or a small thread baetis pattern from it. Around noon there are plenty of fish on the surface, eating small blue wings. The weather plays a major role in the dry fly game right now. The over cast and snowy days are fishing great. The small BWO mayflies can’t dry their wings as fast enough. They get caught on the surface, making them easy prey for trout. We have also had good reports from the Charleston area with rainbows coming up from the Deer Creek Reservoir.
The lower Provo River is starting to clear up from all the late summer moss and the fishing is excellent. The brown trout are beginning to spawn and drop there eggs so please watch where you are stepping. If you see a large gravel spot in the river it’s more than likely a brown trout redd (trout spawning ground). When you see these redds please avoid them. Walk around them not through them. They hold the key to our fishing future.
As for targeting specific location on the river, we like to concentrate on the buckets and riffles behind the redds. This is where the big rainbows are gorging themselves on these irresistible eggs. Most of our guides, including myself prefer to fish a trout bead pattern over your traditional glow bug patterns. Best beads have been: glo roe, apricot and dark roe.
Good luck out there and again, we can’t emphasize enough... tread lightly!
September 15, 2013
For the past couple of weeks we have fished primarily the middle Provo River as it has shown to be the most consistent. And we are starting early! As they say, “The early bird catches the worm.” This has certainly been the case on the middle with all the foot traffic and a good early bite. You don’t think of midge fishing in the late summer and fall, but that has been the name of the game in the morning as the fish have been gorging themselves on a smorgasbord of these little flies. We have been nymph fishing in the morning, trying to get on the river around 6:30-7:00am. We are using a 4-7 foot bounce rig, a non-tapered leader, running 6X fluorocarbon straight from the butt section where the indicator is attached. The best patterns have have been grey, black, red, cream and olive thread midges size 22-26. A couple of key points when fishing midge in the morning;
1) use as little weight as possible
2) don’t forget about the tail out of the run as that is where we are catching the majority of our fish
3) use the smallest indicator possible, try not to use a bright indicator as the fish can see it with the low water flows and it can effect the bite.
All in all, as they say, “less is more”. Trust your flies are getting down to the bottom with your light nymph rig and always change your midge color to see what the fish are keyed into.
As for dry fly fishing, the best action has been in the morning, late afternoon and late evening. The morning usually brings some amazing caddis on top, but with this bizarre weather pattern we have had in the past month it has really hurt those caddis coming out. I suspect that by next week when we get back to sunny Utah weather, it should be game on. In the late afternoon, we have been seeing a prolific PMD hatch up by the dam and have had pods of big fish feeding on top. Right before dark, the caddis have been coming out and the fishing has been non-stop action for a couple hours well past dusk.
August 2, 2013
The middle Provo River has stayed steady at 350 CFS (cubic feet per second), which has made it really easy to wade fish. At this perfect summer flow, crossing the river is a piece of cake. The fishing has really started to pick up in the past couple of days with the emergence of our first summer time caddis hatch of the year. Our guides have been concentrating their efforts from Legacy Bridge all the way up to the dam. In the morning, we are usually fishing below River Road south and moving toward the dam in the afternoon. We are still nymph fishing a 6-8 foot rig with 1-3 BB shot depending on the run we are fishing. Our go-to nymphs in the morning have been a bright green and light green caddis larva, known as the Booger ( top fly). On the bottom we are using a variation of the Bling midge, tied on a curved hook in black, brown and dark gray in sizes 20-24. Once the PMD’s are coming off, the trout start to move into the heads of the runs. Concentrate in the more shallow, faster moving water. Flies of choice have been Crack Back PMD’s, Split case PMD’s and the Pemon-Demon size 16-20.
The Weber River is coming out of Rockport Dam at 229 CFS, this is still above average for summertime flows, but the fishing remains excellent. The fishing on the lower part of the river by Creamery Road and Judd Lane has been very good with caddis and PMD patterns. It almost feels weird to fish without a sow bug but the most productive patterns have been the Crack Back PMD nymph with a Graphic Caddis trailed behind it. Try to fish the shallow, faster riffles (the water in between the big holes) if you want to catch more trout and less whitefish. Up closer to the dam, we have had more success with a large sow bug patterns as your point fly and an assortment of PMD nymphs as your trailer. The past two weeks, our guides have seen some very large fish taken out of the Weber. It is good to see this blue ribbon fishery in such great shape.
The river X stream in the Uinta Basin has been fishing unreal the past 3 weeks and we expect that to continue through the rest of August. If you haven’t experienced a guide trip there, you need to take this opportunity while it is fishing very well and experience one of the best brown trout rivers in the country.
July 16, 2013
The lower Provo River fly fishing is off the charts right now. Our guide staff has been extremely impressed with the health and quality of the fish we are catching. The PMD hatch is in full swing from the trestle all the way up to the dam. Usually when I am fishing the lower Provo, I run some sort of sow bug on my nymph rig, but not of lately. It has been all about the PMD nymphs. Our guides have been fishing a 6-8 foot nymph rig with 2-4 BB split shot. As our point fly we are running a size 16-18 bead head PMD (pattern options: two tone hooker, trigger nymph or tungsten split case PMD). For our trailing fly, we are fishing more of an emerger style nymph such as the Barr's emerger, mayhem PMD and the pemon-demon. The dry fly fishing has also been spectacular on PMDs. Because the water is still flowing pretty quickly, the fish have only been rising in the slower flats or the inside edge where the water slows down. Keep in mind even though there are many size 16 duns hatching, we are still doing better on size 18 patterns for both dries and nymphs.
On the middle Provo River, people are still chasing the drake hatch from about a quarter mile down stream to the dam. With the drake hatch quickly coming to an end, we should start to see the crowds lighten up. Even though the drake hatch will be gone, the fishing on the middle Provo should stay excellent with PMD's and caddis from now until mid September. I did have an opportunity to guide the middle last week. My client and I fished about a mile and half down from River Road south with excellent results. We started the morning fishing PMD dries and caught about half a dozen trout. Then we saw a couple of caddis bouncing on the water, and decided to skate a caddis through some riffles. We caught 3 fish and had about 8 eats. The caddis fishing is not fully there yet, but I think in a couple of weeks it should be in full swing. The rest of the day we had nonstop action on a light nymph rig. Our best patterns were a bright green caddis larvae, and a mixed bag of PMD nymphs.
July 7, 2013
Fly Fishing on the middle Provo River has been hot and so has the weather! With the water levels rising to an ideal summer flow of 350 CFS we are seeing some of the best green drake and PMD (pale morning dun) hatches we have seen in quite a few years. The best bug activity has been from Legacy Bridge all the way up to the bottom of the dam. In the morning, we are still using a light weight nymph rig with 1-2 BB shot in the tails of the run and even going as small as one number 4 shot to detect the light strikes. Our flies of choice have been small green caddis larva 16-18 , cream dreamy midge 18-22 , black midge 22-24 and PMD emerger nymphs; mostly Barr’s style 16-18. Around 10:30 a.m. we are switching to a size 10-12 green drake nymphs. Once you see the green drake hatch, cut your nymph rig and switch over to dries. This has been happening around 11:30-noon. The key to green drake fishing is presenting the right fly pattern for the piece of water you are fishing. If you are fishing a fast riffle use a bushy drake pattern with some elk or deer hair; it always helps the pattern float. If you are fishing a slower glide or pool try using a pattern with a smaller profile and stick to a smaller size on your drake pattern.
The lower Provo River has dropped to 350 CFS in the past couple of days. Hopefully it will stay at this flow, as it lends itself to ideal walk and wade fishing. With the summer kicking into full gear, so has Utah recreation. That having been said, if you can overlook the occasional tuber or rafter, the lower Provo is the place to be to get away from heavy fishing traffic. Most fishermen have been chasing drakes on the middle Provo and have seemed to forget that the PMD hatch is still going on the lower. The fish are also willing to eat a dry fly when the PMD’s are coming off in the afternoon.
June 23, 2013
Summer is officially here and the fishing has been great on about every stream in Utah.
The middle Provo has started to pick back up in the past week. There have been some green drakes spotted from Charleston all the way up to Legacy Bridge. I suspect the drake fishing will get really hot in the next week. Up by the dam, the nymph fishing has been very consistent. For our nymph set-up we are using a 6-8 foot rig, tying a caddis larva or sow bug on as our point fly and dropping a size 20-22 creamy-dreamy midge behind it.
The small streams are on fire throughout the state. Green drakes, stoneflies, caddis and PMD’s are hatching and the dry fly fishing has been spectacular. In the morning, I am usually starting with a stimulator, size 8-12 to mimic the stoneflies and caddis, then I am dropping a tungsten green drake dropper behind it. Around noon I switch out my stonefly pattern and put on a comparadun green drake, size 8-12 and drop a black split case drake emerger behind it. One thing to keep in mind when you are fishing a really light emerger behind a dry fly is don’t hesitate to set the hook when you see a fish eat near your dry.
I guided the lower Provo yesterday afternoon and the fishing was nothing short of spectacular. We got on the river around 3:00 p.m. and fished until about 7:30 p.m.. I think we hooked about 50 fish and put 30 to the net. At around 3:30 p.m. the PMD’s started hatching and all of the fish moved into the inside edge and shallow fast water. We were fishing a double nymph rig with a size 16 black split case and a size 18 Pemon-Demon PMD emerger. The raft hatch quieted down around 5:30 p.m. and we had the whole upper stretch of river to ourselves.
June 2, 2013
The lower Provo River was running at 250 cfs for the past week, but today went up to 379 cfs. This is still a great flow for wade fishing, and certainly welcomed seeing as is has ran so high for the past couple of years. As for the fishing, it has been borderline stupid with hardly any crowds. The fish have really started to key into the PMD nymphs and are also looking for sow bugs. Fishermen need look for the fish on the inside edge of the river as they have set up on the border where fast and slow water meet. Nymph fishing has still been the most productive method of fishing on the lower Provo River. The hot flies have been split case PMDs, micro stoneflies, foam-back PMDs and an assortment of sow bugs.
Last Friday I had a trip out on the Weber River. The fishing was a little slow in the morning, but by late afternoon it was spectacular. Around one o’clock we started seeing some Mother’s day caddis, and the start of a PMD hatch that really got the fish active. I was using a black split case PMD, size 18, as my first fly and dropping a size 14 sow bug below it. The fish were 50/50 as for the fly they were taking. This is the time of year that the afternoon fishing has been much stronger than the morning, so do yourself a favor and sleep in.
The small streams and Rivers X are fishing awesome! As you can see in my blog, I have been doing the majority of my trips out on these rivers and haven’t had a bad day yet. Enjoy the warm weather, and we will see you on the river!
May 23, 2013
The middle Provo River has stayed steady at 300 cfs. There is still some caddis dry fly fishing on the middle Provo where most of the action is happening from River Road south and down stream. As for our rigs, we are starting to fish more caddis patterns with some baetis nymphs. For our nymph rigs we are fishing a 6-8 foot rig with a caddis larva or sow bug as our point fly and dropping a small midge larva in size 20-24 in colors: brown, iron grey, and black. We are still fishing a two-fly dry fly rig for the Mother’s Day caddis. Our best rig has been a size 16, stacked caddis, with a translucent emerger caddis size 18 behind it.
The lower Provo had risen all the way to 900 cfs in the past week but has come back down to a nice flow of 500 cfs. This is a great flow for wade fishing and is very floatable with an inflatable style drift boat. The fish are still stacked on the inside edge and are looking for a smorgasbord of food. The nymph fishing has still been the most productive form of fishing as the major summer hatches have yet to arrive. As for flies, we are fishing sow bugs in size 12-16 as our point fly and fishing some stoneflies and PMD nymphs as the dropper fly.
The Weber River has come up to 200 CFS and is an ideal flow for that river. The nymph fishing below Rockport Reservoir is down right silly. In the morning, we are fishing large sow bugs size 12-14 as our point fly and as our dropper we are fishing another sow bug in a little smaller, size 18-20. In the afternoon, the Mother’s Day caddis hatch is very strong and we switch out our sow bugs for caddis emergers and pupaes.
May 12, 2013
It is that time of year when we start to see our first caddis hatch of the year. The flow on the middle Provo River has come up in the past couple of days to 250 cfs, which in my opinion is a perfect flow for nymph fishing and dry fly fishing. From legacy bridge, down river, we are seeing a good hatch of caddis from late afternoon into the early evening. From legacy bridge all the way up to the dam, it has stayed the same as far a bugs and fly patterns. We are still having success nymphing size 22-24 midge larva in colors: black, camel, iron grey and cream. We have also had success on the black juju baetis pattern in the afternoon. There should be good dry fly fishing in the afternoon on blue-winged olives in sizes 18-20, and small black and cream midge in sizes 22-26.
As I predicted, the flow on the lower Provo has come up to 450 cfs, but it may fluctuate as the warmer weather starts the spring run-off. In the morning, the fish are looking for their usual fair of junk food, and has been productive on a tandem rig with a large sow bug in size 12-16, paired with your favorite color of san juan worm.
The Weber River has been producing some of its best dry fly fishing of the year. While we tend to see a strong Mother’s day caddis hatch on the middle Provo River, the Weber River blows it out of the water. At the peak of the hatch you will see thousands upon thousands of caddis dancing on the water. With the flow still around 75 cfs, the best approach is a double dry fly caddis rig or a dry-dropper rig. The nymph fishing has produced well, especially if you are interested in getting nonstop action catching Whitefish. As soon as you see that caddis are getting knocked off the bushes and trapped on the water, set up your dry fly rig. When the hatch is in full swing, it will be hard to pick out your fly with all the other naturals on the water. The best plan of attack is to use your favorite caddis pattern a couple sizes bigger then the natural so you can track it down. It also gives the trout a target that distinguishes itself from all the other bugs. Have fun, and we look forward to seeing you on the river!
April 28, 2013
The middle Provo is running at a flow around 200 CFS (cubic feet per second) and we expect it to stay that way the remainder of spring. The fishing is great and has really picked up in the past couple of days. In the morning, the fish are starting to key in on some bigger bugs such as sow bugs, worm patterns, stone flies and even caddis larva. We have been nymphing with a caddis larva or sow bug as our point fly and dropping a creamy dreamy midge pattern or a small black midge as our trailer. The past couple of trips on the middle have produced a high amount of fish to the net. Around noon, we switch to a double baetis nymph rig. The dry fly fishing has been best from 2-5 P.M. as the baetis hatch really gets going.
The lower Provo has come up in the past week to 230 CFS, and I suspect that it will hit the 400 mark in the next couple of weeks, if not sooner. This is sure to give the fish some much needed room to spread out. The dry fly fishing may suffer a little from the fluctuating flows, but the nymphing will be red hot as the fish start to move into more workable water. For your nymph rigs, sow bugs are going to be the main staple as they get dislodged from the rocks in the bigger water. In the afternoon, use a sow bug as the point fly trailed by your favorite baetis pattern. One of the most important things to remember is your position in a run or riffle as you are fishing it. Try to stay as close to the bank as possible and if possible, stay out of the water all together. The fish are going to be tucked on the sides of the run trying to stay in the easier water. If you position yourself in the middle of a run you will have stepped on the fish as you waded out. Therefor you’ve disrupted your hole before you even started fishing.
In the past week we have taken a couple of trips out to the Uinta Basin and as Borat would say, “it was great success”. This is the time of year we will catch some of the biggest fish of the season. If you are interested in trying some new water feel free to give us a call and book a trip.
April 13, 2013
The middle Provo River has begun to see the start of the blue-winged olive hatch. The buffalo midge hatch looks to be over for the year. While nymphing continues to be steady, we are starting to fish more baetis nymphs on our indicator rigs. Hot flies for nymphing have been the juju baetis (olive and black colors), sizes 18-20. RS2’s in (black, gray, olive), sizes 18-20. The dry fly fishing is much more consistent on the cloudy days, but still remains solid on the sunny days. For dry fly fishing we have been using a double dry rig. The first fly is a deer hair and CDC compara-dun, sizes 16-20 and for our second fly either a reverse baetis or a cripple baetis pattern.
The lower Provo River continues to be on fire with the blue-winged olive hatch in full swing. I expect the baetis to last another two to three weeks. In the past week the fish have been a little tougher in the morning. For whatever reason they don’t seem to be eating the sowbug for me. As the water warms up the blue-winged olives start hatch and around noon the fishing is down right amazing (nymphing and dry fly fishing)! Hot flies for nymphing have been the foamback baetis (black and chocolate) sizes 16-18 and RS2’s (black, olive and gray) sizes 16-18. As for dry flies, our go to pattern has been a CDC compara-dun and a CDC sparkle dun sizes 16-18.
March 26, 2013
The middle Provo River continues to fish amazing as we make our way into spring. Provo River Guide Service had two trips out today and the only way to describe the fishing is that it was absolutely silly. The buffalo midge hatch is starting to taper, but the fish are still looking up. In the morning, we have been fishing our standard fare of small thread midge’s in colors: camel, brown, black, iron grey, and tan in sizes 20-24. We have also had great success with the RS2 in grey and black, sizes 18-22. The dry fly fishing continues to be good on the sunny days, but is even better on an overcast day. In the past couple of weeks, the middle Provo River fish have seen thousands of flies, so I recommend to lengthen your leader and use 6x-7x tippet.
The lower Provo River tends to fish spectacular in the spring, and this year is no exception. The blue winged olives are going strong from Bridal Veil Falls all the way up stream to the dam. In the morning, we are still nymphing 4-6 foot rigs with light weight in the medium to slow water. The flies of choice in the early morning have been a sow bug with varies midge patterns. Around noon, the blue winged olives start to hatch and the dry fly fishing is good for 3-4 more hours.
I checked out the Weber River with my good client and friend Brian. At 25 cfs, it was much better then I expected. Normally, the Weber River is predominately a nymphing river, but with the low flows it doesn't take much to get fish to look up. The dry fly fishing was exceptional. The fly of choice was a hackle-stacker cluster midge pattern that the boys and I have been working on. Check them out below!
March 12, 2013
The middle Provo River is officially on fire with the buffalo midge hatch! We are seeing great dry fly fishing starting around noon and tapering off around 3:00. The nymph fishing has been red hot before the hatch begins. We are starting to nymph more baetis patterns along with our standard midge larva and pupae. Our hot flies have been the RS2, super hair midge and an assortment of thread midge in colors ranging from gray, black, olive, tan and red. As for our dry fly patterns, our hot flies have been the hackle stacker midge, foam emerger and the reverse midge. One thing to keep in mind is on the cloudy days the hatch seems to take a little bit longer to get going. If the dry fly fishing is slow be patient, get set up in a nice run, and wait it out. Your time spent on the river will be worth it!
The lower Provo River is about to go off with blue winged olives, but as we wait for a real significant hatch we continue to have good fishing. This past week, the nymph fishing has been the most productive tactic on the lower Provo. In the morning, we are fishing midge pupae and larvae along with sow bugs. In the afternoon, we are switching over to blue winged olive nymphs as they start to move around within the water column. Our best patterns for midge have been the super hair midge in yellow, gray, black and olive. For baetis we are using RS2’s in gray, black and olive. We have also been fishing a foam back baetis in black and brown. Usually, this time of year I prefer a lighter color sow bug, but lately the darker sow bug has been more productive.
February 27 , 20 13
This past weekend, the middle Provo River started to see consistent buffalo midge hatches. The best fishing has still been from River Road up to the dam. The nymph fishing has started to get a little more steady with the usual fair of midge patterns. Early in the morning we have had more success with small midge larva (olive, black and grey) size 22-24. Between 10:30 a.m. and 11:00 a.m. we switch to large black zebra midges, size 16-18, this is to imitate the buffalo midge emergence. Once the hatch starts, around noon, only thing you need is a dry. We still recommend using the buffalo dry fly pattern as your point fly and trailing a small midge emerger behind it.
The lower Provo River is still seeing good cluster midge fishing in the morning. The best dry fly fishing is happening before the sun hits the river. The nymph fishing remains strong after the dry fly fishing is done. A smorgasbord of midge larva and emergers are working best. Keep in mind that when fish are keyed into midge nymphs it best to fish with a lightweight rig and small indicator. The strikes are very subtle in the morning so make sure you strike on any movement. In the afternoon as the water warms up, the fish move into the faster riffles. They seem to be targeting larger bugs so we suggest switching to a large sow bug and a baetis nymph.
Get out there! The fishing is exceptional right now!
February 13, 2013
Utah fishing report for the middle Provo River, Utah
In the past few days the dry fly fishing on the middle Provo River has been getting stronger and the fishing is really starting to heat up. We haven’t seen any buffalo midge yet, but there have been plenty of small midges, sizes 22-26 with an occasional midge in the 18-20 size class. The dry fly fishing has been consistent enough that I haven’t had to use an indicator rig since last week. I would say that the best action for dry fly fishing has been from River Road south all the way up to the dam. I am still fishing a large midge cluster as my point fly and have been really successful with a super small midge adult below it, or you could use an emerger in the surface film.
I just got off the lower Provo River with my good buddy and professional photographer Jeremy Allan. I have to say that it was one of my best dry fly days of the year! We got to the river around ten in the morning and took turns throwing midge dry flies for about 4 hours. The fish on the lower Provo are really targeting in on the midge clusters (see below for more details on midge clusters). As the hatch dwindled down we did well using a blue winged nymph dropper. We did see a couple of blue winged olives today, but I still think we are a couple of weeks away from a major hatch.
Midge clusters 101
Many anglers get discouraged fishing the midge. It is just to small to see. The good news is, when you fish a midge cluster, you are using a much larger fly pattern (between a size 18-20) making for a more enjoyable day of tracking your fly. This fly represents multiple midges all stacked together. Which will certainly get the attention of a hungry trout! When I fish with a midge cluster, I set my rig up with an 11 foot tapered leader. I tie 5x tippet to my point fly, a midge cluster. I then add two feet of 6x tippet off the back. Then, I tie on a single midge, size 22-26. The beauty of fishing this technique is all you have to do, is set the hook on any trout that eats around your midge cluster.